Portland has been an abysmal road team this season and that spells good news for Atlanta. The Blazers have a solid starting group anchored by LaMarcus Aldridge and rookie stud Damien Lillard, but their bench is a grease fire and that would account for their road struggles. It will be interesting to see the defensive deployment by Larry Drew, as he could put Josh Smith or Al Horford on LMA. The Blazers sport a top-10 offense in the league but they are horrendous defensively at times and that’s something the Hawks will look to exploit.
Who?: Atlanta Hawks vs Portland Trail Blazers
What?: East vs West Showdown (Game #69, Home Game #35)
Where?: Philips Arena (Atlanta, GA)
When?: Friday, March 22, 2013 – 7:30 PM (EST)
How?: SportSouth HDTV / 93.7 FM
PG: Jeff Teague | SG: DeShawn Stevenson | SF: Kyle Korver | PF: Josh Smith | C: Al Horford
Portland Trail Blazers:
PG: Damian Lillard | SG: Wesley Matthews | SF: Nicolas Batum | PF: LaMarcus Aldridge | C: J.J. Hickson
Injury/Inactive Players Report
Atlanta Hawks: Zaza Pachulia (sore right Achilles) and Lou Williams (torn right ACL) are out.
Portland Trail Blazers: Victor Claver (left ankle), Sasha Pavlovic (right quad) and Elliot Williams (left Achilles tendon) are out.
Current Records/Streak & Hot, Lukewarm, or Cold
Records: Atlanta Hawks (38-30) … Portland Trail Blazers (32-36)
Streaks: Atlanta Hawks –> OVERALL: Won 1 / HOME: Won 1 / ROAD: Won 1 … Portland Trail Blazers –> OVERALL: Won 2 / HOME: Won 2 / ROAD: Lost 1
Home/Away Records: Hawks are (22-12) at home … Blazers are (10-25) away.
Atlanta Hawks: Lukewarm.
Portland Trail Blazers: Cold.
Season/Past Season Series
The Hawks host the Trail Blazers for the only time this year in the second-and-final showdown between the clubs. Atlanta took the first meeting on 11/12 (95-87) behind double-doubles from Josh Smith (19 points/11 rebounds) and Al Horford (15 points/10 boards). J.J. Hickson tallied 19 points and 18 rebounds for Portland. The Hawks have won four straight home games against the Blazers, with Portland’s last win at Philips Arena coming on 1/21/08 (111-109 OT). Atlanta leads the alltime series 51-50, including a 33-16 edge at home.
LAST MEETING — HAWKS 95, BLAZERS 87 — ROSE GARDEN (PORTLAND, OR) — 11/12/12
The Hawks scored the first nine points of the game, and held a 28-22 edge after one. Atlanta grabbed seven first-quarter steals, just one off the team record. The bench game in and did a nice job in the second, extending the lead to 56-47 at the midway point, as Atlanta hit 22-43 from the floor. Portland made began to chip away, eventually taking the lead late in the fourth. But the Hawks scored the game’s final 10 points to clinch the win. Both Josh Smith (19 points/11 rebounds) and Al Horford (15 points/10 boards) posted double-doubles, while Kyle Korver put in 16. Jeff Teague (13) and Lou Williams (11) also hit double digits. Nicolas Batum (19) led the Blazers, as all five Portland starters scored in double figures. J.J. Hickson pulled down 18 rebounds to go with his 19 points.
Ivan Johnson attended the University of Oregon in 2005-06. Anthony Tolliver played two games for the Blazers during the 2009-10 campaign. Assistant coach Lester Conner starred at Oregon State, earning Pac-10 Player of the Year honors as a senior under Ralph Miller. Assistant Nick Van Exel was a Blazer in 2004-05. Terry Stotts was Atlanta’s head coach from 2003-04, recording a 52-85 mark. J.J. Hickson attended Wheeler High School in Marietta. Wesley Matthews’ father Wes played in 152 games in a Hawks uniform in different stints between 1980 and 1990. Trail Blazers radio broadcaster Antonio Harvey played four games for Atlanta in 2002-03.
Information was used from the Hawks and Blazers official gamenotes